green and blue checked scarf.  text Saving Culture, Actively Reclaiming Futures.

An overview of this vision
Click here for the first  Video of this Vision 

click on the name for the To Whom It May Concern letter of Sep. 11, 2016
"What is S.C.A.R.F.?"  Information Sheet
Click HERE for pdf of plans  shown to Historic Commission June 16, 2016


(The idea for this venture began many years ago and has been developed through the time Charlie Knight, a formerly homeless person, has worked with groups to end homelessness. 
What follows are about 10 "talking points" in an attempt to explain what this vision and eventual entity would be like. Contact us if you would like to be a part of this effort.)
scarf-joint  First we would work with people who had experienced some sort of a traumatic event in their lives.  Like becoming homeless, being raped, etc. that has shattered their sense of security and made them very vulnerable.

scarf-joint Second these people would be willing to work every day as a laborer under direction to repair and rehab the building they would be purchasing.

scarf-joint Third these people would also agree to similarly help us help others in rehabbing at least 5 more buildings after they receive their certificate of occupancy and move into their rehabbed house. (Thus building a sense of community and "investment" in the whole neighborhood or city and not in just their own building).

scarf-joint Fourth these folks would agree to have two plaques placed on their home at the front door and at the door the family normally enters the home through that gives thanks to the individuals and entities that assisted them in making this abandoned property their home.

scarf-joint Fifth we would want to work with many associations and groups of contractors, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, masons, landscapers, architects, engineers, inspectors, flooring and wall cladding people, those that do windows and exterior siding, etc. so that the "assistance" is spread around and everyone does a little and not one company or agency do a lot.  The idea is for cooperative and collaborative efforts so that "many hands make light work" and we build community while not placing an undo burden on any particular individual or entity.

scarf-joint Sixth we want the funding and such to not be so onerous that a person could not reasonably pay back what is owed and "lose" the home.  This would be a disaster we would never want to have happen.  But in having them agree to help at least 5 more homes to be made from abandoned buildings in the next 10 years after their building is done, we create "community" so if any one that helped is having difficulty a particular month they would also spontaneously help with a fund raising "spaghetti dinner", etc. because they are not only a home owner but a part of the neighborhood and want to help it grow and become a vibrant and great place for all.

 scarf-joint Seventh we would want to have at least monthly meetings with the folks we are helping with training sessions on particular skills, how to navigate the city or town rules regarding purchasing and rehabbing property, planning for the costs of taxes and utilities and snow removal and lawn care and a host of things that come with home ownership a person who has rented a space before might not know of. These also would be "community building" meetings on a "pot luck" format with a meal and good fellowship as well as the instructional components.  We would also partner with local building places (Like Home Depot or Lowes) to come as a group to attend their instructional meetings on “how to do” some aspect of remodeling a property.

scarf-joint Eighth we would also have meetings, maybe quarterly, in which we celebrate achievements, such as a person designated with us as a developer of a city or town owned piece of property.  Or the roof is put on and/or insulation has been installed and the work passed city/town inspection and they can now proceed with the next item to be done.  In this type of event we also build community but invite the people of that city or town to come and share with us in this joy and tell about what we are doing so that they might also want to join with us in this work. Rarely do people get together to celebrate these days and the community gathering on a regular basis to note achievements is a thing we just need to inculcate into our neighborhoods again.

scarf-joint Ninth we would initially draw our group of "incorporating" people from leaders of the city or town and "stake holders" in this project.  But later we would want to have at least one and preferably a minimum of 20 percent of the board of directors come from the ranks of people who have "been there" and experience the difficulties some one having had such a traumatic event in their lives knows of and whom we have helped to have come from that point to becoming a home owner with that equity which comes from their own hard work in making this once abandoned building their home.

scarf-joint Tenth, we want to use the "Not So Big House" principles promoted by the works of Sarah Susanka to build into that abandoned property that the city or town has owned the various "amenities" that speak to the way that home owner (future home owner) lives their lives so that the structure they return to every day (or in the case of a disabled person, elderly person, or mother with young children live in all day) is a place they WANT to be at and enjoy living there.  So, the people that will be obtaining and working on rehabbing the home are "on the ground floor" in designing the future home and its landscaping so that it fits best the way they enjoy living.  The very best of architectural, sustainable engineered, and as "green as possible" homes is what we would put back into the community as rehabbed and remodeled homes.

Those are our first 10 "talking points" about this vision.

We would be saving the best of the cultural aspects of a building built maybe many years ago but now remodeled so it can be "sustainable" and very functional for today's living and an asset for tomorrow.

We can envision this as being a great solution for some (Not all as a component of this is the people that would own the home being willing to use their own "sweat equity" in working each workday on rehabbing this building into their home) of the individual and family homelessness situations we face in our communities today.

One lady said to our founder, Charlie Knight, “all I want is a decent home with a yard my kid can play in in safety.”

How can anyone be against that!

One of our goals is to within 3-5 years be able to celebrate at least one certificate of occupancy being granted each week to a individual or family that we have helped.

You can be a part of making this dream a reality and helping not only individuals and families but also the cities and towns that have abandoned building stock &  homeless people. 

Contact Charlie Knight, founder, at:   or by phone at   (413) 732-7077

or email scarf directly at:    or

We do have facebook presences at:
Scarf Charles E. Knight  <  >
Scarf Springfield < >

 we also have a twitter account at:
@scarf_2015   <  >

WE update things at least twice weekly on a Monday and a Wednesday at this website:   >

double teniond scarf joint pieces of wood.   A PDF file of these 10 points in a folder format is provided by clicking on these words.   double teniond scarf joint pieces of wood.
an earlier folder telling about the founder and the beginnings of this vision is found here.

For more information about the S.C.A.R.F. project, go to the "home" page, or contact Mr. Knight
by telephone or at the email link above.
For more information on the concepts of this project by our founder, go to the concepts page through this link.
Dana Winner sings Conquest of Paradise and this is those lyrics with comments by a formerly homeless person.


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